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The Rutgers Suicide & Online Privacy

The suicide of a Rutgers freshman is raising new questions about privacy, hate crimes, and the Web.

A candlelight vigil for Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi at the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, N.J., Oct. 3, 2010. (AP)

Tyler Clementi was eighteen years old. He closed the door to his college dorm room and had an intimate encounter. As it happens, it was with another man — and, unknown to Clementi, it was streamed over the Web by his roommate, from down the hall.

Tyler Clementi then killed himself. He jumped off one of the biggest bridges in the country.

Now, his roommate, Rutgers freshmen Dharun Ravi, and Molly Wei, Ravi’s friend, are facing invasion of privacy charges, which could result in up to five years in jail. Should they be charged with a hate crime?

-Tom Ashbrook


Guests: 

Amy Nutt, reporter for the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.

Emily Bazelon, legal writer and senior editor at Slate.com and a senior research scholar at Yale Law School. Read her Slate series: “Bull-E 2010: The new world of online cruelty.”

Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, an organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. 

Orin Kerr, law professor at George Washington University who specializes in computer crime law and criminal law.

See Dan Savage’s “It Gets Bettter” Project:

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